Child’s Flu Vaccination

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Dear Rabbi Simon
We have a quick question for you with respect to the flu vaccination for our daughter.
We received an email from the NHS, indicating that the vaccine is made of porcine gelatine. They indicate that we can request an alternative if we do not want a vaccine of porcine origin. We would like to know if we need to ask for the alternative or if a vaccine made of porcine gelatine is acceptable since this is a medication and it is for the benefit of young child.
Many thanks in advance!

Dear Vicky
Thank you for your practical question.
There is no problem with this nasal vaccine, notwithstanding its porcine origins. The reasons for this are several, among them the fact that this is a nasal spray which is not ingested as food may be.
By the way, there is a prohibition to feed non-kosher food even to a young child. But this vaccine is fine, and you do not need to request an alternative (which may be less effective, more invasive, etc.).
Best wishes and kind regards
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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